MILWAUKEE -- Mitchell Boggs finally has an answer as to why he's battled recurrent back pain for more than a year. The Cardinals reliever has a bulging disc in his back.

And while that's a significant condition, Boggs actually gained a measure of relief from the recent diagnosis. He believes that he can manage the condition going forward, and for the most part avoid the occasional setbacks that have at times left him unavailable to pitch. He has been given a set of exercises he must perform in order to keep the situation in line.

"That's what they told me," Boggs said. "It's something that we need to pay attention to, but if we stay on top of it and do the things that they tell me to do, then we won't have any problems."

Manager Tony La Russa said Monday that he considered Boggs fully available to pitch Monday night. Boggs had been out of commission over the weekend, a result of the injury.

"As long as he does his exercises religiously, I think he should be OK," La Russa said.

Cards have multiple options at second base

MILWAUKEE -- The day that Rafael Furcal arrived in St. Louis, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa made no bones about one thing: Furcal is his primary shortstop. The other half of the Cards' double-play combination, however, is less of a sure thing.

La Russa once again declined to give a definitive answer regarding his second-base situation on Monday, when Skip Schumaker got the call at the keystone against Zack Greinke and the Brewers. Ryan Theriot, formerly the club's starting shortstop, will likely see some time at second base. Schumaker will play a good deal, especially if he keeps hitting like he has recently. And once in a while, Daniel Descalso could get a look there as well.

"I think the best thing to do is just look at the lineup that day and that's who's playing," La Russa said Monday. "I'm not going to ... it doesn't make sense to get into that, for me. There will be a lot of games, so everybody contributes and everybody plays."

Schumaker said he hadn't been informed, but he was willing to hazard a guess as to how things will shake down.

"I'm assuming it's going to be a platoon situation, where it's righties and lefties," he said. "I'm assuming. And then if Theriot's got better numbers against a guy, then I'm sure he's going to play and vice versa. I don't know. ... But I don't think it's an issue."

Schumaker has been torrid of late, hitting .379 over his previous 20 games coming into Monday. Theriot, meanwhile, has been in a deep slump, though he showed quite a bit of improvement over the weekend against the Cubs.

Piece of metal falls from Busch Stadium

ST. LOUIS -- Outside of Busch Stadium on Monday afternoon, sidewalks were closed after a piece of metal fell from the stadium.

Late Monday morning, a 2-foot-by-4-foot piece of steel trim fell from the underside of the facade on the stadium's west side, near the intersection of South Eighth Street and Spruce Street. A landscaper discovered the damage around noon CT on Monday, but no injuries were reported, said Ron Watermon, the Cardinals' director of public relations and civic affairs.

The city sent a building inspector to examine the damage on Monday afternoon, and the stadium's structural engineers and city building workers will take a second look on Tuesday.

"At this point, we don't know what caused it to happen," Watermon said.

The steel object, an ornamental stadium trim plate that covers the ramp opening, weighs at least 100 pounds, Watermon said. There are roughly 150 of the decorative plates around the ballpark.

As a precaution, the sidewalks surrounding the areas of the stadium featuring the steel trim were closed off on Monday.

Busch Stadium is a little more than five years old; it opened on April 10, 2006.

"The bottom line is things are not supposed to fall off the stadium," Watermon said. "We're taking the necessary steps to address it, to try to understand what happened and fix any problems that might exist."

The Cardinals' next home game is on Aug. 9 against the Brewers.

Baby birds

• Brian Broderick pitched seven shutout innings and nine different players had at least one hit for Triple-A Memphis in a 5-1 win against Iowa on Sunday.

• Ryan Jackson singled and doubled in Double-A Springfield's 9-1 loss to Northwest Arkansas. It was the fifth straight multihit game for the slick-fielding shortstop, who enjoyed a superb month at the plate in July. Jackson hit .323 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage for the month.

• Greg Garcia went 3-for-4, but Class A Palm Beach lost to Clearwater, 3-2.

• Chris Edmondson hit a walk-off two-run home run, sending Class A Quad Cities to a 3-1 win over Kane County. Kolten Wong also went deep.

• Joseph Bergman homered and walked, but short-season Batavia lost to Connecticut, 8-2.

• Roberto De La Cruz homered twice and drove in five runs, leading rookie-level Johnson City past Elizabethton, 10-6.

• Samuel J. Tuivailala went 3-for-3 and C.J. McElroy had two RBIs, but the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals lost to the GCL Astros, 4-3.

Broderick is the player of the day for getting things done on both sides of the ball. The right-hander allowed three walks and four hits over seven innings to improve to 5-3 on the year, and he also went 2-for-3 at the plate. Broderick has a 4.80 ERA with 21 strikeouts and 14 walks in 50 2/3 innings since being returned to the Cardinals from the Nationals organization in May. He was selected by Washington in last December's Rule 5 Draft.

Tidbits

• Monday marked Rafael Furcal's first start as a member of the Cardinals.

• Lance Berkman pronounced himself fine on Monday, a day after he returned to the lineup for the first time in five days. Berkman missed most of the previous week due to discomfort in his right shoulder.

• Monday's game is the first of 12 between the Cardinals and Brewers in a 5 1/2-week span. Of the Cardinals' next 35 games, six are at Miller Park and six more are against the Brewers at Busch Stadium.

• Ron Wolf, former general manager of the Green Bay Packers and a friend of Tony La Russa's, visited the Cardinals at Miller Park on Monday.